Indiana Michigan Power on behalf of the AEP Foundation presented a gift of $75,000 to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo for renovation of the zoo’s Jungle Lab classroom earlier today.
“The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is a gem and we are lucky to have this world-class attraction right here in our community. Indiana Michigan Power and the AEP Foundation are more than pleased to provide support for the zoo and its mission to educate children through hands-on learning,” said Paul Chodak, I&M president and chief operating officer.
“We are always honored when organizations like the AEP Foundation choose to support the zoo’s community outreach,” said Zoo Director Jim Anderson. “This gift directly supports many important zoo education programs.”
The Jungle Lab classroom was built as part of the Indonesian Rain Forest in 1994. It currently hosts summer camps, workshops, and school programs. New curricula for inquiry-based science and math programs are under development for the renovated space. Renovations will take place this winter while the zoo is closed for the season.
The zoo receives no tax funding for improvements or operations, so donations such as this are important to the continued growth of the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.
“Each year, more than 35,000 children participate in zoo education programs,” said Cheryl Piropato, the zoo’s director of education and communications. “These funds will help us create an exciting space that will engage children and inspire learning.”